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Morphological alterations of lake shores in Europe: A multimetric ecological assessment approach using benthic macroinvertebrates
Citation key Miler2013398
Author Miler,O., Porst, G., McGoff,E., Pilotto,F., Donohue,L., Jurca,T., Solimini,A., Sandin,L., Irvine,K., Aroviita,J., Clarke,R. & Pusch,M.T.
Pages 398 - 410
Year 2013
ISSN 1470-160X
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.06.002
Journal Ecological Indicators
Volume 34
Abstract Abstract Besides pollution, lakes are affected by human alterations of lake-shore morphology. However, ecological effects of such alterations have rarely been studied systematically. Hence, we developed tools to assess the ecological effects of anthropogenic morphological alterations on European lake-shores based on pressure-specific response patterns of littoral macroinvertebrate community composition. Littoral invertebrates were sampled from 51 lakes in seven European countries. Sampling covered a range of natural to heavily morphologically degraded sites including natural shorelines, recreational beaches, ripraps and retaining walls. Biological data were supplemented by standardized morphological data that were collected via a Lake Habitat Survey (LHS) protocol and subsequently used to develop a morphological stressor index. Two biotic multimetric indices were developed based on habitat-specific samples (Littoral Invertebrate Multimetric based on \HAbitat\ samples, LIMHA) and composite samples (Littoral Invertebrate Multimetric based on \COmposite\ samples, LIMCO) through correlations with the morphological stressor index. Similarity analyses showed strong spatial differences in macroinvertebrate community composition between four main geographical regions, i.e. Western, Northern, Central and Southern Europe. The morphological stressor index as well as \LIMCO\ and \LIMHA\ have been developed for each geographical region specifically, thereby optimizing correlations of \LIMCO\ and \LIMHA\ with the respective morphological stressor index. The metric composition of \LIMCO\ and \LIMHA\ and their correlation coefficients with the morphological stressor index are comparable to existing national and regional methods that assess morphological lakeshore degradation via macroinvertebrate communities. Hence, \LIMCO\ and \LIMHA\ indices constitute a new stressor-specific assessment tool that enables comparable lake morphology assessment across Europe, as it has been developed involving a uniform methodology followed by regionalized optimization. These tools fulfil the standards of the \EU\ Water Framework Directive and thus may complement existing assessment approaches used in lake monitoring focusing solely on lake eutrophication so far.
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